Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2 Months!!

I know it’s crazy. Already two months and
I’m done with my first transfer here in Uganda.

I also will be getting a new companion
on Wednesday. His name is Elder N or something
and he is from South Africa. It will be interesting
changing things up a bit.

You were asking about people’s names here. Most
people’s first names are biblical, like David,
Immanuel, Jacob, Martha, Mary, and than they
have an African last name that I usually cannot
pronounce.The children here speak Lasoga.
They usually don’t pick up on English
till they go to school or have more experience with it.
That’s why it is hard to understand them when they
get older and speak English because it is not their first
language.The busses here aren’t too
bad. Everyone gets their ow n seat and you don’t
stand in them. You just pile in and they flip down
chairs sothey can fit more people into there.
Today we didn’t have to get on a bus to Jinja
though because we yelled for some guy to give us
a ride,just down the hill to the busses but the
guy said he would take us all the way to Jinja.
We than found out that he was aspiring to be the
mayor in Bugembe. We figured this out because he
kept stopping and talking to people and they were
calling him Mayor already. The church music here
consists of thus everyone singing acapella. The
keyboard is broken so they just sing…
really slowly they sing. They never sing the songs
that are supposed to be fast and upbeat that way.
They usually just sing them really slow and
solemn. So this week was good. On Thursday
Elder W and I made a visit to the Kampala
hospital because he ran out of
asthma medication and he
was having chest pains. I guess he had an
infection in his lungs and is taking medication to
clear it out. That day seemed so long. It cost us
4000 shillings to get from Jinja to Kampala.
It was weird being in that big of a city though.
It was cool going to this place called Shoprite
though because it’s just like an American
Supermarket. I was sad to see they didn’t
have Dr. Pepper there either though. I had
to use the restroom too and it was ridiculous.
I had to go up two flights of stairs, I got frisked
(for the second time after entering the store
in the first place), and had to walk down another
hallway to eventually find the bathroom.
Those kind of nicer places have
guards everywhere with big AK-47’s.
Friday was good as well, just taught
and met with some people.Saturday was hectic
because the zone leaders were gone and we were
scrambling to get baptismal interviews done.
The DL and his companion went over to
Empummede to interview the 3 baptismal
candidates there and to get their 2 baptismal
candidates interviewed as well. We also
had to scramble to find time for them to interview
our 2 baptismal candidates, but it all eventually
worked out. So Sunday we had 4
baptisms at our church. 2 of them were from the
other companions in Bugembe and 2 of them were
Elder W’s and I.The two we baptized were
E and H. E is the brother of a member
named A who actually baptized him. His
dad S l is a member too but
inactive. E is so smart and I love the guy.
He’s always looking out for people and told me
he wouldn’t begetting baptized if he didn’t know
it was absolutely true. He’ll be teaching us soon!
He’s 24 years old. And H has been waiting for a
few weeks to be able to get baptized. She
was so happy to finally get permission from her
mother who was hard to get a hold of since she is
15 and all. She’s very smart too and can almost
recite exactly what we taught her even weeks
after the lessons. Also on
Sunday we had a Family Home Evening at the
S ’s which was cool. The whole zone was there
minus the zone leaders and the made us
an American style picnic dinner thing.
It was pretty good and it was good seeing all
the missionaries from the zone again. They even
brought us all home which was nice because riding
a bus home at 9 a tnight doesn’t exactly sound
fun to me. So the week has been good and Uganda
is always interesting like always. It’s hard to
explain to people how us missionaries aren’ t
regular mazoongoos. We’re not rich. Oh you
will also see the pictures I took of my new pants
that I had custom made for 20000 shillings.
It’s crazy you can get pants made from scratch to
your size for 10 dollars. You can also get a suit here
for 50 dollars. It’ s pretty awesome and I’ll
take advantage of that later in my mission. You
will also see the pictures of my new haircut.
DID IT MYSELF! Yathat’s right. That was some
complicated business. I also had to have Elder D
help me fix the back a little because I couldn’t
get an angle to cut it with the scissors very well.
He also helped me shave my neck. The only
problem I had was I messed up a tiny bit over my
ears but hopefully my hair will cover it up in a
day or two. It’s justa little off by my
sideburn and ear. But, I was impressed I didn’t
completely butcher my hair. It’s funny though
because I also cut Elder D ’s and Elder W’ s hair
while I was at it. They liked how I did it too so
I’m glad. I did accidentally blow out the motor or
something in the small trimmer I had
with the buzzer. I plugged it into the wall without
the power adapter and it just fried. Same
mistake Clay made I guess. Kind of sucks but oh
well. But that is my week so I hope I filled you in
on everything. Oh I also took a few pictures in
Kampala, and of some guy I saw wearing
a Minnesota Vikings shirt I thought was awesome.
The taller African guy in the baptism pictures is
our Branch President, President M. T
I’m thankful
for all the support you give!
Love Elder Welch

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 9th Good week

To start things off, people don’t say they
churched it up around here,
that’s just me and I’ve copyrighted it.
Another good week. I found out
this last week that the DR Congo mission
averages 47 baptisms a week and our mission
only averages 9 per week. They do have more
missionaries but we’re going to work on
getting more as a mission. I thought it was
interesting to think that we probably had a
third of the baptisms in the mission just
last Sunday. Speaking of those, they
were all confirmed this Sunday and they are
all awesome. We also had another baptism.

Shehas a kid as well named M who is only a few months old and is
adorable. The newborns around here are so cute.

But next week we should have three baptisms
again? I always overestimate though.
One of them is A who we’ve been waiting to
hear from her mother about the baptism.
A member talked to her mom and
she said it was cool so we’re going to
have him sign the form and hopefully her, and
her friend B will be baptized next Sunday.
Also next week is a guy named E. His brother,
A, and father, S, are both members already.
E is a smart guy and he’s ready
to be baptized! He’s always trying to help
us out someway. Even this week we were by the
place where he was making samoosas and I got a
sprite and he came over and took my money and
brought it to the guy and then even opened
my bottle for me. It’s the little things that
make you able to tell which people are truly
Christ like. E just wants to do everything he
can for anyone, even if it’s a simple act of

The children here don’t speak English except
for a few phrases.
They’ll say “how are you” “good morning”
“good evening” and other
similar greetings, but when you try and talk
to them about other stuff
they are just totally confused.

We get from one city to another by buses usually.
From Bugembe to Jinja we just take a bus on the
main road which hold about 40 people.
It costs usually 300-500 shillings for the 10-15
minute ride which is like 15-25 cents. From Jinja
to Walukebe we usually take the bodas
which will charge you about 500 for the 10 minute
bike ride there. Weusually just walk back to Jinja
from there though. Speaking of Bodas I
know I said we weren’t supposed to take the motor bodas,
I needed to get up to our place
to get extra garments for the baptism pretty quickly.
So only inemergencies will we use them.

FHE’s are usually somewhat run by us just so the
members get used to holding them themselves and
learning that it’s important and something
they should have as a family each week. On Monday’s
though we do one at the church and it’s usually
just the youth of the church. Last
Monday we had like 20 youth, which over half didn’t
go to our church,and it was really fun.

I feel bad for you guys and the weather there
but at the same time I don’t because you at least
get air conditioning! Here it’s just hot
walking around and you get a little burned.

We get fed by the church members when we have FHE’s
at their homes. Usually just some kind of drinks
and something to snack on like chipatees or samoosas.
Sometimes they will feed us rice and beans or
something similar to that.
The one thing that sucks is lately the power
has been turning off quite a bit so we’ve been
hanging out at night a lot by candle
light. It’s not very fun either to go to bed
without the power for the fans because it’s too
hot to sleep. We’ve also had to kill a bat in
our house so that’s what the picture of that is.
Oh and the other picture of me pointing at the
camera and stuff is with my new white
shirt and new tie I bought here. The shirt is
fitted well and the tie was only about the
equivalent of a dollar and twenty-five cents. I’m
also getting some custom made pants from some
guy for 20 thousand shillings, so just 10 dollars.
The Branch President, M, and
District President, G, convinced me to get some.
They both like to dress pretty well. President is
the man.

On Sundays at church we sometimes have to
teach the gospel principles
class. Actually almost every time. But,
as missionaries there we don’t
like to answer the questions, we usually
just sit there and wait till
some of the members begin answering. It’s funny
last week the five people who answered the
questions the most in that class weren’t even
baptized! The three were baptized that day, E
for next week, and Sister T who has had all
the lessons with her husband and stuff but
they live together with two kids but aren’t
married. Around here it is
a problem with people living together before
marriage because they haven’t paid the dowry yet.
The church is trying to get these people
to just get married.

the run down of my week.

Monday and Tuesday we just had lessons and
FHE’s so nothing too new. Wednesday though we
were told that there was going to be a zone
meeting at our place! We freaked because we
didn’t have a lot of information and they were
like, it’s starting at 11 when it was like 9
in the morning. So we quick cleaned and grabbed
every chair we couldfind in our place. Well 11
passed.. then 12.. then we get a call from the zone
leaders telling us to come down and we would eat
before the meeting.
We eat with them and eventually get back to our place.
It was just us and the zone leaders for some follow
up meeting on the zone training
last week. It last literally 15 minutes…

Thursday was pretty basic but Friday a member
named J O hooked us up with a great investigator.
It was his friend D from down where he lived.
He’ll be a great member and is set to be baptized
in 2 weeks. Brother O is one of the best resources
we have and we realize that the best way to get
members into the church is through
the members! The people we contact hardly ever are
interested or come to church but when they are
someone’s friend already they are almost
converted already! We are going to work on getting
more investigators
this way.

But that’s my week and I hope you guys are
doing great still. The church is true. It’s evident
by just seeing the change it makes in
peoples lives around here. They start to be happier,
dress nicer, and to treat others with more respect.
They almost become more driven as
well and want to take better care of their families.

I hope all is well and that you keep
studying your own scriptures and receiving
your own personal


Elder Welch

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some new pics

Elder Tex being himself;)
New members
Dead bat in apartment/house

Sunday, August 8, 2010


We confirmed J C a member this Sunday
and it was really good. He's a hilarious guy
who sometimes really gets it
and remembers what we say, and
sometimes you know he's just spacing
out. He makes me laugh though.

We also had three more baptisms this Sunday.
M, A, and E. M and A are good friends and
were coming to churchfor a while before we
realized they weren't members. M's brother
F is a member and the Young Men's President.
A is her good friend and is from Kenya.
She actually heads back there soon.
Eis 16 but is a really smart kid. He's the man.
All three of them have strong testimonies and I
know they will be faithful members and keep
coming. E was actually baptized by F since he
will be in the Young Men's anyways. We tried to
get A and M to want to be
baptized by F as well but I think for some reason
they thought it would be awkward having a relative
baptize you? Everyones a little
weird like that here haha. So I ended up baptizing
them as well and they were so scared of the water!
They both told me they thought they
were going to die when they got baptized.
It was all good in the end
though haha.

About the house we want to move into, we
didn't move in this month and
haven't heard from the couple missionaries or
the guy who was looking into it. We were hoping to
move in this month but that obviously
didn't happen so hopefully next month?

Ya every week I see how old this mission is haha.
I was talking to Elder D who is from
New York and was going to SUU for
construction management or something? He told
me of how he eventually was converted and
decided to serve a mission like a year later so he's
been out like 10 months but is like 24 or 25.
I think they will start sending younger missionaries
here but they must have just wanted to
have a lot of older missionaries to kind of
start this mission over the last 5 years.

Yes I am keeping a journal and I'm trying to
write in it either every day, or every other day.
The children here don't know English like you
said. The only thing they really know is how
to say "how are you" and "fine".

So this week after P-day we just went
and grabbed some food and went over to
Walukaba and hung with the
Elders there until about 4:30 and headed
back to Bugembe for and FHE
we had at the church.
Tuesday was nothing special. Just lessons
and a DDM. Wednesday we had some training
for the Jinja zone on 8 new highlighted
aspects of preach my gospel and we hit up the
first 4 on this day. we just sat there in Jinja’s chapel
forever listening to each section which were
prepared by Elders that lasted an hour and
a half.. EACH! So that’s also what my day was like
on Thursday as we went back and continued
the training. We got to see the Mission President
and everyone again so it was pretty good.
Friday we just set up some of the baptismal
interviews for Saturday and met with some of our
progressing investigators again to make sure
we got the baptisms done for Sunday. We saw
M again though, which is good because she has
been missing since before I got here.
She had a baptismal date and everything but
just disappeared I guess.
We just set up an appointment with her and her
friend E who also had a baptismal date soon.
They both wanted to be baptized together on
August 15 so we’re shooting for that even
though E has had all the lessons as well, but since M
forgot a lot of the things, he wanted her to know
them too because she started getting taught before
him and he didn’t think it would be fair for him
to be baptized first.
We also have these two girls who live down
by the swamp of Lake Victoria named B and A
who both are really eager to be
baptized! B hasn’t had all of the lessons though
because she had Malaria when we were teaching
A a couple and A has had all
the lessons and really wants to be baptized.
Saturday we played soccer again in the morning,
and again… I was the only Mazoongoo.
Not many people showed up this time so we
played 3 on 3, half field, of just hitting the goal post.
Every time possession changes though you have
to bring it back to midfield but it was really
fun. We also finished up teaching E, A, and M
and set up their interviews as well as prepared
them for some of the questions
they were going to be asked. We did have a scare
though that night and we didn’t think we were
going to be able to baptize A or M
this week. I guess there was a misunderstanding
and the DL who was interviewing M thought
she had taken tea just this last Thursday.
But after clearing it up it was a week from
Thursday that she had taken it, because that
was the day we had taught her about the Word of
Wisdom. So we were all good and she passed
the interview.
Sunday we just churched it up for fast Sunday.
It was interesting because the two Utah State
guys also came with two other Mazoongoos
who were married. The husband was in the same
program as these guys and they were all here to
meet with their professors who came out. It
was interesting seeing a whole 7 mazoongoos at
church! We had the baptisms and they were great.
The only thing that sucked that day was
the fasting. Fasting in Uganda is hard. It’s so hot
and having to walk up and down hills tires you
out but I made it! So that’s probably the
only thing that wasn’t awesome this week but
everything else was!
And now, it’s 10:30 A.M. on Monday morning
and I’m writing you guys.
So that’s all that is new. But, I still love it here
and it’s awesome.
I’m not getting as shocked by things here
lately but every once in a while I’m just like, what
in the world is going on here haha. Oh and
the picture mom was confused by. Hahaaha that
made me laugh so hard.
That isn’t a hole in the wall… it’s a hole in the floor
… and that’s
what most people here use as toilets… Haha don’t
worry we get an actual toilet at our place!

I love you all so much and pray for you guys every
night! I know you keep me in your prayers too
and I’m thankful.
Elder Trey Welch

Picture of toliet hole...not oven;) (turn sideways)
baptism and companion